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Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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i-Health Labs Europe Sarl BG5 Wireless Glucose Monitor Kit
i-Health Labs Europe Sarl BG5 Wireless Glucose Monitor Kit
Price: £45.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small Glucose reader with a great app, 12 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a diabetic for over 30years, I have use many glucose monitors over this time. This is the smallest I have used.

On opening the box, you get the monitor, 10 sharps, a spring loaded lancet holder, full instructions and a handy travel case, 10 test strips, control solution, charging cable (micro usb). The reader is chargeable via micro usb, it was totally out of change when received so I left it overnight to charge.

In the morning when it was charged up to begin using iHealth BG5 you need an app on your phone. You also need to pair the reader with your smartphone, this is done as per any other bluetooth device.

One last thing you need to do before taking your first reading is head to the appropriate app store for your phone and download the free iHealth Glucosmart app. I used the BG5 on an iPhone 6, launching the app as with other health apps you are asked for a few personal details, gender, weight, height and register the device. Initially the app was set to return readings in ml/Dl, so I to compare the results to my existing system I changed this in the apps options to mmol/L.

When you start using a new container of test strips, you scan the QRcode on the top of the tub in the Glucosmart app. This allows the reader to correctly calibrate itself to the strips and keep a count of how many left in the tub. Once that is done the app switches to Measure mode, at which point you attach insert the test strip into the reader, using the lancet get a drop of blood from a finger, and touch the end of the strip, in around 5 seconds you get a reading. Once you are done the base of the reader has a strip release button; use care here as the release can launch the test strip quite a distance if you not ready for it.

The app stores all your readings so you no longer need to keep a paper log. You can update the reading with extra details, i.e., meds/insulin taken, before/after meal (it does make a good guess at this) carbs and exercise logs. There are some nice graphs on the stats pages to allow you to see information over week/2weeks/month and 3months. It keeps a track of the number of strips you have and lets you know when there are less than 10.

The app allows you to also set alarms, for when to take readings, insulin and meds.

In general, this device is small, smaller then most others I have used, easy to use. So why the 4*, well I also tested the Dg4 which makes the comparably small DG5 look massive.


ASUSTOR AS1002T 2-Bay Personal Cloud NAS, 1 GHz Dual-Core CPU with Hardware Encryption, Mobile Streaming, Tool-Less Setup, Diamond-Plate Design and Ultra-Quiet Operation
ASUSTOR AS1002T 2-Bay Personal Cloud NAS, 1 GHz Dual-Core CPU with Hardware Encryption, Mobile Streaming, Tool-Less Setup, Diamond-Plate Design and Ultra-Quiet Operation
Price: £120.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Looking, compact NAS for backup and media, 6 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
ASUSTOR AS1002T is 2-bay NAS. I never have any devices from Asustor, and didn’t know the company, you might guess that Asustor is a part of Asus and you would be right. Asus has a good history in computers and their components so it should bode well for the nas. After unboxing, the NAS has a nice modern and good looking design, so you don’t need to hide it under the desk or in a cupboard. When its powered up it doesn't have disco lights; like my drobo; which makes it more compatible with working with it on a desk (there is a photo of it with lights on below.)

The installation process is very easy. Asustor doesn’t include disks; you need to purchase (or reuse) 3.5” SATA drives with this unit. Adding the disks is simple; you slide the HDD into one of the two slots (there is a picture of the drive tray below. Once your disks are installed; close the cover back up and connect the system to your to the network. The Asustor NAS supports 1 Gigabit LAN port and Wi-Fi, however it needs Wi-Fi dongle, which is unfortunately not included. After installing the ASUSTOR Control Center onto a PC, the final NAS configuration process is quick and easy. From opening the box to running it took about 15 minutes to have fully worked device.

ASUSTOR AS1002T is not only a backup or storage device, it has a cpu and operating system and can be configured to do some useful networking tasks;
-          Web server (PHP with MySQL),
-          Own cloud server with access through the Internet from any place,
-          Media server
-          Security server (access to IP cameras)
-          Virtual host (e.g. supports vmware)

There are more than this but these are highlights for me. Once configured to access the asustor you only need a web browser. As with other similar devices the first port of call for a device like this is as a media server; though the cloud features are useful too. Asustor has a quite long list of ad-ons, which can be installed. 
I choose Plex server and cloud server as my TV has a Plex app too (but UPnP is also supported). In few moments I had a access to my videos, pictures and music from my TV. Once Plex was enabled my Sony TV very quickly spotted the new device on the network, and it was similar with smartphones.

Using the system for backing up and restoring files were backed up at around 55mb/s and i could restore files at 75MB/s which is fast enough for me. (I had two 7200rpm disks installed raid 1.) The Asus one won’t suit you if you want to render 4k video as fast as possible; but its more than enough to play them back.

The device itself is quiet, and I didn’t notice when it works, although it has a big fun. Thanks to save energy options, user can setup LED brightness and HDD hibernation time. Device has 2 USB 3.0 ports and it is possible to connect further storage via a portable HDD. As a home user, I am pleased with ASUSTOR AS1002T. It is a good value for money device with a large number of additional applications. 
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AmazonBasics 400-Thread-Count Cotton Sateen Fitted Sheet, King - White
AmazonBasics 400-Thread-Count Cotton Sateen Fitted Sheet, King - White
Price: £18.49

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stay in place, Super Soft, Great Value, 6 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a man looking for new bedsheets all I really knew I wanted was all cotton with a high thread count. Turning to Amazon I was faced with a dazzling choice; clicking the prime option reduced that massively. I read a number of reviews on products; and added an all around elastic strap to my fitted sheet requirement which further reduced the options. I have a number of amazon basics cables at home; and they have all far exceeded the performance their name suggests we should expect. When i found amazon basics sheets and they ticked my requirements i gave them a go.

I gave them a wash and they felt suitably soft; fitting them to my deep mattress was made all the easier by the all around elastic. A week in they had stayed in place something my older one corner elasticated sheets failed to do; often one corner coming unsprung. Sleeping on them is great; the sheets feel nice and soft as their high thread count suggests they should be. 5*


3M 4218P Double Sided Acrylic Foam Mounting Tape grey 10mm x 3m
3M 4218P Double Sided Acrylic Foam Mounting Tape grey 10mm x 3m
Offered by TeeDeeGroup
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 6 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the 3m Double Sided Acrylic Foam to attach a multi socket extension mains socket to a natural wooden desk. I needed the foam double sided tape deal with the undulations in the wood. I used 2 strips on my extension socket; and pressed it into the wood. Missing my target the first time i put it in place; the 3m adhesive allowed me to remove and then reposition the adaptor whilst still sticking firm. 3 weeks later its still in place; despite repeatedly plugging and unplugging things from the sockets.


Luxebell® Apple Watch Strap, 42mm Milanese Loop Stainless Steel Bracelet Strap Band for Apple Watch All Models with Unique Magnet Lock(No Buckle Needed) (ML-Black-42 MM)
Luxebell® Apple Watch Strap, 42mm Milanese Loop Stainless Steel Bracelet Strap Band for Apple Watch All Models with Unique Magnet Lock(No Buckle Needed) (ML-Black-42 MM)
Offered by Simple Tek
Price: £25.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable alternative to link bracelets, 6 Mar. 2016
The Luxebell Milanese Loop strap is considerably more affordable than apples original part. I was intrigued to find out of the milanese loop strap was a comfort improvement over the metal link strap that came with my watch; and if it looks classier than the plastic strap i have been using.

Swapping out straps on the apple watch is a doddle; press the button on underside of the watch and the straps just slide out. The Luxebell matches the finish of my black apple watch just fine. The Milanese Loop strap is fixed on one side, the other has a loop back to allow you to adjust it on the other; a magnet holds it just right on your wrist. You can pull it super tight but the magnet slips over some time to loosen up; i do find i have to tighten it up once or twice a day if gets too loose. Im not a huge fan of metal straps - mostly because they come as chunky link straps; they look nice but they can grab hairs and leave marks at the end of the day. I mentally tarnished the Milanese loop straps for a similar reason - lots of tiny links to grab hairs; I was dead wrong. The strap is metal - its cool when you put it on - but the thousands of tiny loop-links in the strap make it feel soft on the wrist; and somehow hairs aren't getting pulled despite all those loops. The soft feeling shows at the end of the day; a day wearing my rolex and i often have marks where the links and clasps are on my wrist. The Milanese loop leaves no trace of itself when you take it off. There are times when I'm using it when the magnet finds the magnet in my laptops wrist pad which i found strange at first but have gotten use to after a couple of weeks use.

I have pushed Luxebell's strap review time to two weeks to get used to wearing the strap. The black finish is still glossy- washing it under a tap works just fine it seems. I have issues with the magnetic buckle when taking the strap on and off - and wish the strap were 1cm longer to make it easier to get around my large hands - on my wrist the strap goes back almost half way so its plenty large enough once its on. The build is very good - see the photo the links are identical and the finish is excellent.

Luxe bell provided a Strap to review at no cost.
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SkimProt Guard for Bank Card
SkimProt Guard for Bank Card
Price: £7.60

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced; ended up peeling off the strip too often., 22 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Skimprot Guard is an intriguing idea a replacement magnetic strip for a debit / credit card. The replacement strip is supposed to tell devices to use the chip rather than the barcode. The kit contains a single strip and a cardboard applicator to assist you placing the strip over the strip on your credit card. You are likely already insured by your provider against fraudulent use; unless you are negligent. What that doesn't cover is the hassle of getting your accounts recovered. So skimprot gives you some peace of mind and a defense against skimming. The first 3 times i tried to use my card after applying the strip I ended up peeling the strip off as the two car parks and ATM in the motorway service station didn't know what to do and spat my card out.

The Skimprot cards are massively overpriced as I write my review; if they came with 4 strips to cover a variety of cards they might make more sense; as it stands given the high cost of entry; and that a number of non bank devices don't have the ability to act on the strip's use the chip warning its hard to recommend them at the moment.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2016 9:10 PM BST


Poweradd 4-Outlet & 4 USB Output Extension Lead Power Strip, Surge Protector Power Socket With 5.9ft Power Cord, USB Charging Ports for Smartphones, Tablets, Desk Lamps, Computers, and More Devices (White, 4 AC & 4 USB)
Poweradd 4-Outlet & 4 USB Output Extension Lead Power Strip, Surge Protector Power Socket With 5.9ft Power Cord, USB Charging Ports for Smartphones, Tablets, Desk Lamps, Computers, and More Devices (White, 4 AC & 4 USB)
Offered by Poweradd
Price: £42.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I have bought a much smaller desk to work from home and mounted the Poweradd adaptor under the desk allowing me to keep the surf, 16 Feb. 2016
The powerful 4 power / 4 usb outlet surge protector with a 1.8m cord fit a project to tidy my desk to a tee. I have bought a much smaller desk to work from home and mounted the Poweradd adaptor under the desk allowing me to keep the surface nice and tidy. The flat plastic surface of the charger took 3m double sided adhesive acrylic tape and has been suspended upside down un the underside of my desk. Four sockets is a nice compromise keeping it compact but still allowing for a useful number of devices to be powered.

The combined power and usb has let me stop using a separate USB charging hub for my USB devices. The power sockets are reasonably spaced to allow for plugging in power bricks. The USB ports are split 2x2 this is for higher voltage devices like tablets and large phones and smaller ports for lower power USB devices.

I haven't had a device trip the power; or a power surge to threaten it; its nice having that piece of mind coming that the strip is protecting my laptop. The red switch turns the sockets on; and resets the device if the power surge trip is activated.
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Wireless Charger, Archeer All-in-One Qi Wireless Charging Pad Antiskid Dashboard Cellphone Mount Kit 360 Degree Rotatable Smartphone Holder for Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Google Nexus Nokia Lumia 950XL
Wireless Charger, Archeer All-in-One Qi Wireless Charging Pad Antiskid Dashboard Cellphone Mount Kit 360 Degree Rotatable Smartphone Holder for Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Google Nexus Nokia Lumia 950XL
Offered by Doeracil
Price: £22.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... Archer all in one qi car charger is a nice Phone holder / charger for the car, 16 Feb. 2016
The Archer all in one qi car charger is a nice Phone holder / charger for the car. It sticks to your dashboard with a 3m adhesive (I haven't removed it yet so can't speak for any residue) the charger plate has a micro-suction pad on it to hold your phone against it; and then it uses QI charging to recharge your phone. When you get into the phone you press your phone into the charging plate and leave it there for the journey. At the end you just lift it back off the plate and you are away; not more plugging cables in.

The Charging plate has a rotating head that attached to the stick pad and angle mount with a strong magnet. The arm at this point doesn't allow a huge range of movement relative to the size of my iPhone 6+. The limited range of movement which fives you some slight angles but not right angles made it tricky to place into my car; as it has a curved dashboard.

The micro suction holds your phone well; in a few hundred miles of driving my phone only came off once; on a fast moving roundabout. The plate and glue have held very rigid in cold and heater-ed conditions. I really like QI charging its super convenient having it in the car just adds to the convenience of using it. The micro suction plate at the end of the drive its a question of pulling the phone off the charger and going - no more putting cables in and out.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2016 3:24 AM GMT


Mantona Elements Outdoor Backpack (with Removable Camera Case for DSLR Camera with Rain Cover / Laptop Compartment / Tripod Holder) Blue
Mantona Elements Outdoor Backpack (with Removable Camera Case for DSLR Camera with Rain Cover / Laptop Compartment / Tripod Holder) Blue
Price: £108.51

3.0 out of 5 stars Large, small bag., 16 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Montana Elements Backpack is surprisingly large and my bag came in a striking blue; contrasted by the grey of an enormous number of straps and ties. I don't get the love affair of the straps some bag companies have; I'm never going to fill it with bricks so the weight of a small camera bag is never going to be so onerous as to need chest straps; heck i hardly ever use more than one shoulder strap.

The Mantona bag has a laptop like sleeve pocket down the back that can take a 15" macbook pro retina (just.) That is a big positive and speaks to the size of the bag; a smaller bag like a Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L can only take a small laptop or large tablet like a Surface Pro. Like the Lowepro the bag comes with a rain shell to protect it in downpours. The bag has choc full of pockets and sections; there is the aforementioned one for the laptop; a large daily pocket at the top of the bag; this has a zipped section inside. The large section has a bungee tie to close it up. The top lid clips over the bag and has another zip pocket in it. There is a large flap on the front of the bag; which worries me it would attract rain into it. One side of the bag has a pocket and straps for a tripod (or water bottle.) The other has a flap that opens to another smaller removable camera bag; which comes with its own rain cover. There are also two small zip pockets on the waist straps. There is a LOT of storage places all over the bag; though the top section would be more useful with some extra zip sections.

In the lowepro camera section i can pack a Canon 6d with a 24-105l lens,a gps sensor, a 16-35mm lens and an 8-15mm fisheye. When the bag arrived I used this Manfrotto Camera Backpack I as my daily bag. This is tiny; can just take my macbook pro; as well as the 6d with 24-105, gps and 16-35mm lens. I wanted to spell out the capacity of bags that are all smaller than the Montana as the Montana's design means I can only carry the 6d and 25-105 lens. For a lot of people they only have one lens; so its ideal. Unfortunately I like to carry a range of lens to that make sense for what I'm doing that day. Having a bag this big that can only carry one lens doesn't make a lot of sense to me; the space badly shaped/ wasted. There is a photo of the 3 bags in a line below; the Grey Lowepro, the Blue Montana and the black Manfrotto.

If you only have or need one medium size lens on your sir then it is a great bag; and having the smaller take out camera bag (complete with rain protection) will let you take the bag away and only carry the camera when you need it. For you the bag is 5*

Whilst the other two bags I have of a similar style are tapered it is tubular and should have been able to carry a far more impressive camera load.
I really liked the bold color on the Elements backpack; i just think the design of the bag either the large laptop size or the design of bag inside a bag has compromised the storage. So if you, like me want to carry more than one lens then the shape is just wrong. For me the bag is 2*; so averaged it out at 3*.
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Kind Nut & Spice Bar Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt 40 g (Pack of 12)
Kind Nut & Spice Bar Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt 40 g (Pack of 12)
Offered by Nature's Remedies
Price: £17.80

5.0 out of 5 stars A Savory Winner from Kind, 12 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Kind Bar's are a staple in my office drawer since finding them last year. I am rotating round flavors to decide which i like the most. The Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt Bar's main attraction is the high nut content. This leads 7g of fiber and 6g of protein in a 40g bar; and a lowish 5g of sugars. The bars are clearly almondy with a dark chocolate base. They are as a result of the nuts the texture is very crunchy (it may test your teeth crunch.) The taste is far more savory than a sweeter bar like apple and cinnamon bars which at 10g have twice the sugar. The nuts and the slight bitterness of the chocolate are nice; and the effect of the smaller seeds give a variety of taste and texture in the mouth as you chew. The salt is really though and if you dislike the taste of salt these may not be for you.


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